Seema Srivastava, Executive Director of India ITME Society, talks with Bhavishya V Boricha of TFT in an Exclusive one on one. She shares her insights on Trade Fairs and Textile Industry along with developments at India ITME Society.
TFT – Tell us about yourself, India ITME Society and your journey in the Trade Fair Industry. What were the initial years like? What were the challenges you faced?
SS – Today, there are very few careers and areas where women have not broken the glass ceiling. Exhibition industry by its very nature having long and odd working hours is a challenge for females, especially since they also have to shoulder family responsibilities. However, I would say I never considered my feminity to be a disadvantage. Female attributes like patience, natural instinct, ability to improvise which are inherent qualities of a woman has helped me in dealing with many challenging situations with calmness.
My first job was with NIIT and I trained in marketing and brand promotion having a natural flair for communication. Then, I joined Taipei World Trade Centre (TWTC) as a Sr. Trade Promotion Specialist where I got introduced to exhibitions and learned all the ropes of the business.
My training with CBI Seminar Intfair XVII program sponsored by Ministry of Economic affairs, Netherlands also trained me further in how to plan, organise and execute high quality events.
India ITME exhibitions is an industrial exhibition with live machinery display. It is a huge challenge to organise such a complicated exhibition. It also is very exhausting to run an event for a longer duration of 6 to 7 days and having a long setup period. Usually, the perception of people are that such industrial exhibitions can be handled only by a male professional. When I took up the responsibility, I could feel all eyes on me, watching closely as to whether I would be able to handle the pressure. As such, it was very important for me to execute the events with quality and standard much above than was expected and I am happy to say that I proved my doubters wrong.
One of the major hurdles was to ensure that the instructions given to colleagues, associates, service partners are taken seriously and executed the way it was intended to. I was very firm about my instructions being followed precisely and also was very patient in explaining my thought process behind the decisions to all my associates which helped me overcome their mental resistance and also develop their confidence in my leadership.
TFT – What according to you are the current trends in the Textile world? How do you see the future of Textile Industry in India?
SS – India’s textile industry is one of the oldest in the Indian economy and continues to be one of the most important sectors with more than 37 Million people employed by the industry. It is also one of the largest contributors to India’s exports.
Indian textile industry is not only important domestically but also is the second largest in the world after China today. The future of the Indian textile industry is promising especially in the rural market. The rising disposable income and the aspiration of the good life style by the younger generation is driving the demand for brands and fashion fabrics in urban and rural markets. The opportunities for growth and investments are abundant for Indian textile industry.
India ITME Society was formed 4 decades ago in order to support and promote Indian textile industry by providing access to the modern technology in textile machinery accessories and requisite engineering services in order to stay competent in the global market scenario.
It is important to be cost efficient and quality conscious, both these elements can be achieved only through superior and modern technology and machinery which is where India ITME Society place a key role by facilitating access to global manufactures through ITME exhibitions.
India ITME exhibitions is the premier platform for every textile industry member in India as well as neighbouring regions and African nations. As such, today India ITME exhibitions has become one of the most prominent textile engineering events globally and is the second largest in the world with participation from 73 countries.
TFT – How was the response for ‘India ITME’ show this year? What plans are a part of the future show?
SS – 1102 Exhibitors, 38 countries, 17 chapters, 11 exhibiting halls, and 70 product launches over 6 days period of exhibition made India ITME 2016 the largest and apex exhibition for Textile machinery and technology in India.
All in all 10 conferences with 121 speaker sessions were conducted over 6 days period. More than 62 eminent speakers and experts were invited to share their experience and knowledge to this industry. 9 Institutes, out of 4 foreign institutes organized their own seminars and workshop.
India ITME 2016 created a platform for the students and the craftsman of our country to showcase their talent and creativity to the world. Amidst whirring of the modern machineries, ‘Weavers of Maharashtra’ showed live demonstration of creating beautiful weaves of HIMROO, PAITHANI, BLOCK PRINTING, TIE DYEING – Traditional fabric craft of state of Maharashtra.
State of Gujarat and State of Karnataka, two key states in India having strong presence of Textile industry participated in this event as state partners. Both State Governments, State of Gujarat & State of Karnataka aggressively promoted Textile Parks & Investment opportunity & textile policy to domestic & International delegates.
This once in 4 year mega event was also supported by Department of Heavy Industry, Govt. of India, Textile Ministry, Government of India and Government of Maharashtra as State Partner making it the most important platform for the government officials and the industry members to interact and work together.
India ITME 2016 was a global business and technology platform for business men, professionals, students, artisans, researchers, academicians globally.
TFT – What can you say of the Indian Exhibition Industry? How much scope do you see and what changes are required for its advancement? Which are the things you believe are hindering the growth of the Industry here?
SS – Indian Exhibition Industry has high potential to reach global levels. The key to innovation, quality & standards are trained professional & personals to work in operations for planning & execution for an exhibition. Secondly the tendency of cost cutting of Exhibition organisers, Service providers & Venue owners at the cost of safety and quality. Thirdly professional interaction & facilitation between Exhibition organisers, Service partners & Venue owners is crucial and needs to be improved a lot in India.
TFT – The Society hosts 3 international shows in a cycle of 4 years: ITME, GTTES and ITME AFRICA, pertaining to the Textile sector. What is the difference between these shows?
SS – India ITME Society has 3 shows ITME Series, GTTES & ITME AFRICA 2020 in the cycle of 4 years.
ITME series is a Mega Exhibition offering unmatched business to the exhibitors as the Indian textiles industry is set for strong growth, buoyed by strong domestic consumption as well as export demand. It will open windows to various business verticals in form of leads, contacts enquiries on a massive platform. Participation from 91 countries and 21 Chapters, making it as a one stop platform for the engineering solutions and technical technology for textile industry, servicing the whole of Indian textile industry and building India brand.
GTTES focuses mainly on the Weaving Sector of the textile Industry & to promote integrated services through exhibitions for setting a benchmark in Textile Machinery Industry through continuous improvement.
ITME AFRICA – This business shall showcase complete range of textile and textile engineering with a total of 27 chapters. 4 broad categories are covered Textile, Textile Engineering, Financial institutions and allied segment. Ethiopia being seat of African Union and one of the major countries in the continent of Africa with growing textile industry shall host this 1st edition of event. This exhibition shall offer sourcing solution, joint venture and investment opportunity not only to Ethiopia but to all of Africa.
This event shall bring multiple growth effects for not only to the textile industry but also the airlines, hotels, transport, tourism etc. and shall contribute to the development of the region in many ways. ‘ITME AFRICA 2020’ is all set to act as a catalyst and be the pivot for eco-development, employment generation, thus heralding prosperity to the continent.
TFT – What kind of support does the show has from related associations? Can you name the supporting associations?
SS – India International Textile Machinery Exhibitions Society (India ITME Society) is a non-profit apex industry body established in 1980 to support and serve the Textile Engineering Industry through exhibitions, Events, Trade Promotion Services, Education Scholarships, Student Placements, and Consultancy etc. Marking its 40th Year India ITME Society has opened a revolutionary pathway tracing its evolution with the memorable moments with 5 Member Associations viz. TMMA, ITAMMA, CITI, TAI & BIS (Govt. of India).
India ITME Society has signed MOUs with International Association like Botswana Textile & Clothing Association (BTCA) and Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and now is a globally acclaimed Industry body.
TFT – What are the exhibitor’s expectations? What do you guarantee to the exhibitors to participate?
SS – Every participating exhibitor expects good service & Return on Investment to participate in exhibition & India ITME Society delivers both. India ITME Society is committed to deliver the best & excel as it goes forward. Humility of action, integrity of purpose and transparency of conduct will be the key traits driving India ITME Society’s growth and journey forward into the next 40 years to come.
TFT – What new innovations will we see in the 2020 shows?
SS – Being an organiser of the Textile & Textile Engineering events, India ITME Society caters to executing the exhibition using the latest technologies there by reducing the time waiting time for Exhibitors & visitors, to highlight a few being mobile apps, online registration, navigation techniques, easy display & security systems.
TFT – Textile Industry is not known to care about the environment! Is the apex body concerned to spread awareness and knowledge to minimise environmental deterioration?
SS – India ITME Society has introduced Waste & Waste Water Technology & Green Technology as a key sector in its forth coming event. Minimum use of plastic & paper are the key step towards minimising environmental deterioration.
TFT – From your perspective, tell us the positives and negatives of being a Show Organiser.
SS – The positive perspective of being Show organiser is that Govt. is likely to steer the show to the direction & height which you foresee.
The negative perspective is that large scale exhibition organisers face major challenges due to lack of improper facilities & ambience required for a successful execution of an exhibition.
TFT – Kindly tell us about ITME Africa 2020. Why Africa? What key points led to the decision to debut in Africa?
SS – Despite an enormous untapped potential for trade expansion between India and Africa, India’s trade with Africa is concentrated in certain sectors and countries and is dominated by exports of primary commodities. While the potential for export diversification exists, it may not be realized without targeted intervention. India is today the 2nd largest Textile industry globally and has a strong base in Textile engineering, thus is well-positioned as a partner to improve the productive and export capacities of Africa. With the growing importance of South-South cooperation, India’s expertise can be leveraged to build textile industry in Africa through the sharing of knowledge, technology and lessons learnt.
This unique and exclusive business facilitator opening up an entire continent of new opportunities for the Textile Industry facilitating business connect Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Ghana, Botswana, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Djibouti, Eritrea, etc.
TFT – How do you manage your professional and personal life? How do you cope with multi-tasking and stressful situations? Any tips for trade fair enthusiasts?
SS – Love your job and all hurdles shall pass.
TFT – What will be your advice for a successful and sustainable event?
SS – Meticulous planning and honest to Commitments is the key to successful and sustainable event.